In the evening on weekdays, the sidewalks teem with girls carrying yoga mats tucked under arms to or from classes. Their hair smartly propped in ponytails, perfectly round asses straining against black tights with neon green or peach colored waistbands rolled over the top, they are a flesh phalanx of trimmed and toned T&A. Women who are serious about yoga have the best all-around bodies of any group of exercising women — they beat out soccer players, joggers, bikers, swimmers, and porn stars. I don’t know if it’s the yoga itself that carves such exquisite hardbodies, or if yoga simply attracts Type A++ girls who hone in and sweat out with extreme prejudice 0.1% excess hip fat with the same mechomasculinized focus they apply to shuffling lawyer briefs, but I have yet to meet a woman who regularly attends yoga class who is out of shape. And I’ve taken a few classes. Believe me, ladies, I’m enjoying the view in the back row. Not a fatty or frumpy in sight. What town in America can claim that?
The steady stream of sidewalk yogettes had me thinking about avenues of approach. Surely, this was a rich vein of opportunity upon which to mine some clever opener to ride all the way to the naked Lotus position. Waiting at a crosswalk light, I peripherally ogled a short girl in — no surprise here — black tights and a green tank top cradling a rolled up yoga mat in her right armpit. Like Chuck and the intersect, I flashed archives of game knowledge until two potential openers pricked my consciousness.
The first I mouthed silently to myself to determine if it was acceptable. “Bikram?” No, I mentally discarded it. Though she sported the glistening sheen of a woman who might have just exited a Bikram studio, I felt the opener sounded like forced rapport. And questions demanding simple yes or no answers never make for good openers.
I used my backup opener instead, an example of the “ever notice” school of openers.
“Ever notice how people compete to have the largest yoga mat?”
She stared blankly at me for a second, before my word jumble organized itself into meaning for her. Then she smiled.
“No, that’s not something I’ve noticed.”
“Yours looks like it’s 12 feet long. You could roll that thing out like a red carpet.”
She chuckles. “Well, it’s not that long, and I’m not tall enough to need a 12 foot mat.”
“My yoga mat’s only two feet. I’m embarrassed to be seen in public with it, but my mom gave it to me.”
She laughs again. “Funny, you don’t look like the yoga type.”
I make a fake indignation face. “What, just because I’m ruggedly masculine I don’t fit the stereotype of a master yogi? I’m offended.”
The light changes. Shit, time’s out.
She loiters for a a split second before stepping into the crosswalk, which makes me think it’s a mini-IOI to go for the number close. But it’s a split second too short, and she begins walking forward. Over her shoulder, she smiles and tosses out one last morsel.
“Well, good luck finding a less embarrassing mat.”
A taxi making a left turn nudges into the pedestrian zone, almost brushing up against her leg. She gets distracted, and the moment evaporates. I want to smash a cinderblock into the taxi driver’s face. But then that’s not very serenely yogic, is it?